There’s no place like Nome!
With a population hovering around four thousand, Nome appears just as you would imagine an old Alaskan mining town to, with dogsled races captivating residents and their visitors each March. Add in a certain cinematic lore, and Nome boasts levels of modern mystery and adventure that are just enough to turn heads. If you’ve heard that Nome’s only claims to fame are UFO's and a dated gold rush, we’re here to share some insider information: The area’s gold, although increasingly elusive, has more value than ever before.
With winter temperatures almost always guaranteed to plunge below zero, Nome’s harsh conditions were no match for a trio of determined Swedes in the summer of 1898. Jafet Lindeberg, Erik Lindblom and John Brynteson discovered gold along a creek in the still-natural area. Within a year, Nome became a booming mining center as upwards of 10,000 hopeful miners flooded the scene. Over the next ten years, Nome expanded even more, eventually reaching a peak population of about 20,000. Politicians and commonfolk alike bickered over claims to the valuable land, catapulting Nome to the most populous city in the Alaskan Territory. As for the initial “Three Lucky Swedes,” their mining company raked in upwards of twenty million dollars.
Michael Maslan Historic Photographs Via Discovery Channel (Early Panner in Nome)
Of course, many good things must come to an end. After its richest deposits of gold became depleted, Nome’s population steeply and quickly declined. Later, storms and fires in the early twentieth century destroyed much of its historic infrastructure. Without the boom of a gold rush, Nome eventually reclaimed some fame from exciting iditarod races that continue to feature Alaska’s most athletic dogs and driven adventurers.
Loren Holmes Photo via Alaska Dispatch News (End of Iditarod)
Despite an outward shift of focus, Nome’s residents continue to hum along mining for gold. What the miners of the early 1900’s couldn’t reach remains to be discovered, mostly by those who possess valuable land claims. Leased out on strict terms, land in Nome is popular and sometimes impossible to acquire. With much of the recovered gold immediately melted down by established claim-holders, raw Nome gold is an increasingly rare treasure. Nome gold has undeniable worth, securing a major spot on our radar. We’re excited to help you stake a claim on this special secret...
Photo credit: From Wikimedia Commons (Gold Dredge in Nome)